Two men charged in fatal beating of Columbia roommate

August 08, 2002|BY A SUN STAFF WRITER

Two men suspected of beating their Columbia roommate to death were returned to Maryland from a Georgia jail and charged this week, Howard County police said yesterday.

William Donis Maldonado, 25, and Marcos Escalante, 30 - both of the 5700 block of Stevens Forest Road in Columbia - were charged Tuesday with first- and second-degree murder and first- and second-degree assault in the death of Antonio Ayala, 33, whose body was found May 20. The pair were arrested in Georgia on June 22.

They were being held in the Howard County Detention Center without bail. A third suspect, Reyes Cruz Escalante, 20, who also was a roommate, was found in Charlotte, N.C., on June 27 and has been held at the detention center under the same charges since July 1.

Police said the victim and three men were drinking in the woods off Flowerstock Row when Ayala and one of the men began fighting.

The other two men joined in and are accused of hitting Ayala with sticks and rocks until he died, police said.

A Sept. 6 preliminary hearing has been scheduled in District Court for Marcos Escalante and Maldonado.

A scheduling hearing will be held Tuesday in Circuit Court for Reyes Escalante.

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